Wealthy and upper middle-class women of India and China do have an option though. They can simply come to sunny California and go to The Fertility Institutes of Los Angeles. For approximately $18,000, women can have their abortion at this self-proclaimed “world’s largest and most successful” sex-selection program. The company even offers financing through CapitalOne for those who can’t afford the $18,000 upfront, and advertises in race-specific publications. Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, the clinic’s president, in an interview with New American Media’s Mandy Oaklander, is proud to note that while five percent of the Institute’s advertising budget is aimed at Indian and other ethnic groups, they account for twenty percent of the business.
The ease with which Dr. Steinberg discusses his gruesome business comes as no surprise to veterans of the pro-life movement. Sex-selection abortion is used almost exclusively to kill females. In China and India, the practice is culturally sanctioned and here in the United States, where we believe human rights are universal, and every person is created equal, it is government sanctioned and profitable as well.
Sex-selection abortion has left mainstream abortion and feminists groups in a bind. The National Organization of Women and the National Abortion Rights Action League have been quiet on the subject. Their websites yield no substantive discussion of the practice which has resulted in millions of missing girls. Perhaps these organizations do not want to face the facts regarding abortion. Pro-abortion groups are fond of saying that abortion is a woman’s choice. She is choosing what to do with her body. How much of a choice is it really, when the women are under immense societal pressure to have a boy? How much of a choice is it for the one million missing girls a year?
The popular feminist blog Feministing.com dealt with the issue of sex-selection abortion a month ago. Samhita Mukhopadhyay writes that the “Fertility Institutes is benefiting from sexism and hatred against the birth of baby girls in India and the Indian diaspora communities.” Ms. Mukhopadhyay does not appear to recognize the irony in her statement. There is no one on the pro-life side who would disagree with her, yet groups such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood have yet to take up the cause. Abortion exists today with the tacit approval of, and in some cases the promotion by, some women. Roe v. Wade decided that abortion was more than merely legal, it was a right. When a woman travels from another country to undergo a procedure she cannot afford, to sacrifice a child her society declares she cannot have, it is time to rethink the true cost of abortion.
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